NINE TO WATCH IN '09 | Langley looks to rebound

Look for the city of Langley to try to shake off the gloom that descended at the end of 2008, when economic woes hit merchants hard.

Consumer spending fell off at stores, restaurants and galleries, some businesses closed, voters rejected a ballot measure to improve the Langley Marina and a snowstorm kept shoppers away just before Christmas.

Then there’s Linds Drug, the only pharmacy in town. A city fixture for

38 years, it may close soon because of a loss of revenue and changes in the health-insurance industry regarding prescriptions, owner Ron Lind said recently.

But Langley Mayor Paul Samuelson is hopeful he can convince Lind to keep the pharmacy open. And if he can’t, “there will be a drugstore here one way or the other,” he promised.

Samuelson also plans to apply the same cooperative effort that kept the Langley Clinic from closing to the city’s current problems.

He said his recently formed economic development council will work with merchants and the Langley Chamber of Commerce, and through state historic preservation programs such as Main Street, to revitalize the city.

“When we finish our comprehensive plan and economic development program, we’ll be focusing largely on downtown and retail to make healthy what’s going on here,” Samuelson said.

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